Dell’s Earnings Jump as Costs Fall, Services Climb

Dell Inc.’s profit nearly tripled as the computer maker benefited from favorable component costs, strong corporate demand and rising sales of its higher-margin products.

Like other computer makers, Dell said consumer demand for personal computers was sluggish, a trend that weighed on low-end “netbook” computers as buyers looked instead to tablet computers, like Apple Inc.’s iPad. To offset the slowdown, the company is focusing on more profitable products, such as data storage and software.

Dell’s results stood in contrast to those of rival Hewlett-Packard Co., which cut its 2011 forecast earlier Tuesday at a hastily scheduled earnings call.

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